Chadchart announces bid for Bangkok

Chadchart announces bid for Bangkok

Running independently to attract more allies, says Pheu Thai PM candidate

Chadchart Sittipunt announces his bid for the Bangkok governorship on Saturday. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiartpakun)
Chadchart Sittipunt announces his bid for the Bangkok governorship on Saturday. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiartpakun)

Chadchart Sittipunt has said for the first time he would run as Bangkok governor after roaming the capital for seven months to meet people and learn about their problems.

The Pheu Thai Party prime ministerial candidate said on Saturday he would run independently and not under the party’s banner because he didn’t want protracted political conflicts to get in the way of solving the city’s problems.

To push forward policies, he needs all the allies he can get, said the former transport minister, who added he was ready whenever an election is allowed to be held.

Local elections have been on hold since the 2014 military coup. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has said during his provincial visits that local elections would have to wait a bit longer. The Election Commission is preparing to stage some polls starting next year.

“I explained to the Pheu Thai phuyai that I believe running independently would attract more allies. A lot of people, while fed up with politics, want to see a better Bangkok," Mr Chadchart said.

“City Hall needs the coordination of both the public and private sectors. I look at it from the management, rather than political, perspective. In terms of politics, I have no voting base. I came from zero so it’s an uphill task."

Once the election is announced, he would conduct a poll, review his chances and make the final decision whether to run.

Asked whether running independently is a policy from Pheu Thai, the former engineering lecturer said he had never discussed it with the party or used its funds for campaigns.

“In any case, I admit adopting the party’s philosophy of engaging and looking after people," he said.

He added he did not worry about the disadvantages of an early bid. “I don’t mind if my policies are copied so long as they get implemented.”

On the same day, Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan, a key Palang Pracharath Party member, said the party had 12 Bangkok MPs and had high hopes of getting more representatives at local levels.

“We have suitable people who understand politics such as deputy Bangkok governor Sakontee Pattiyakul, Digital Economy Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta, who was former deputy Bangkok governor, and my wife Taya Teepsuwan, also an ex-deputy Bangkok governor,” he said, referring to his fellow members of the former People's Democratic Reform Committee.


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